We've all had run-ins with the internal naysayers, the limiting beliefs, or those inner-critics that keep us from showing up as our best selves. It's very common to have a Bitch or ten lingering around inside our headspace sabotaging our productivity, steering us off-track from our goals, or shrinking our self-image. Fortunately for us, simply having a new awareness of when they show up is enough to start influencing their impact on our day-to-day lives.
Here are nine warning signs that there's an inner-bitch around who needs to be ditched:
- You keep promises to others, but not to yourself. I pride myself in being trustworthy and dependable to my friends and loved ones, but when it comes to my own commitments, I often don't hold the same standards. If you're not keeping the promises or commitments you make to yourself (or you're committing to things you don't want to follow through on), chances are there's a bitch around.
- You live in a world of shoulda, woulda, or coulda. Hindsight, wisdom, and experience will always reveal a better, faster, or easier road we could have taken. Living your life recalling all of these options though won't make a difference to your right-now life, and are a surefire way to keep yourself living in the past.
- You're always meticulously counting or tracking. Whether it's dollars, reps, calories, pounds, days or any other metric, I grew up with the mindset that you need to track what you wish to change. But when these numbers consume you, blind you, or define you, those numbers can paint a crooked picture. Keeping track can be a valuable tool, but it's important to keep tabs on what these numbers DO and DON'T mean.
- The mirror only reveals your "flaws" and imperfections. The mirror can lie on the way up and on the way down. If that reflection staring back at you tends to be your biggest critic rather than your biggest fan, there's an inner-bitch hanging trying her hardest to keep you from seeing how beautiful you truly are.
- Your creativity is bottled up or hidden. As Brene Brown says: "Unused creativity is not benign." If you're a singer who never sings, an artist not showcasing your work, a poet but no one knows it, or a creative being that keeps your creations hidden from the world, that unused creativity that remains in the storage locker of your heart and your soul is not benign: It's hurting you to keep it untapped.
- You live in a world of "someday" and "maybe". If the fear that lives of inside you is keeping your dreams and desires hidden until you feel like it's safe, the time may never come. Taking risks and putting yourself out there is hard. Exposing yourself to the opinions or judgment of a third party is hard. But not doing so could very well prove to be even harder in the long run.
- You create unrealistic, impractical goals. You wouldn't move to a bigger house, take an entire week off work, and change your sleep schedule if you decided to buy a goldfish, right? Uprooting your entire life for a diet plan or committing to something that doesn't fit in with your daily flow doesn't make any sense either. Committing ourselves to plans that aren't practical and aren't sustainable is a recipe for disaster and a losing game.
- Your body limits you and your experience of life. For years I wouldn't step foot in the ocean -- let alone be caught dead in a bathing suit without a cover-up. But I didn't just miss out on the crashing waves or a freestyle swim. I missed out on connection and experiences and fun. Not to mention all the other activities I watched from the sidelines because I was too ashamed of my body to participate. If your body is a limitation rather than a source of freedom, there's an inner-bitch around keeping you on the sidelines as an onlooker of your own life.
- Stress, busyness, being overwhelmed and anxious are a "lifestyle". Stress is natural. Getting overwhelmed is normal. But wearing your stress and anxiety like a tight sweater everywhere you go is not. There's a big difference between having stress and being stress, being overwhelmed and living overwhelmed. The two do not have to go hand in hand.